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How I Came to Rethink Children’s Challenging Behaviors

Doing Away with the Blame Game

Mona Delahooke

By Mona Delahooke - What’s at the root of children’s aggressive, defiant, and oppositional acts? And how can we better help the children who exhibit these behaviors? Polyvagal Theory shows that the drive to avoid threat and secure safety is what guides human behavior. As such, what we often label as “bad” behaviors are actually fight-or-flight behaviors.

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VIDEO: What Therapists Need to Know About Polyvagal Theory

...And How to Use Touch in Therapy

Deb Dana

Using touch in therapy can have a huge impact on your clients' healing processes. Here, therapist Deb Dana explains the science behind the power of touch in sessions and what types of touch elicit which emotional responses.

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A Polyvagal Primer

A Three-Part Exercise That Taps Into the Nervous System to Create Safety and Trust

Deb Dana

By Deb Dana - The three elements of our autonomic nervous system—ventral, sympathetic, and dorsal—act as our largely subconscious surveillance system, working in the background to read subtle signals of safety or threat. That’s why I help clients create a clear map of their own autonomic nervous systems, so they become aware of their patterns of response to ease and distress.

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VIDEO: Dafna Lender on Harnessing Your Social Engagement System

Strategies for Building the Therapeutic Alliance More Easily

Dafna Lender

We all know therapists who seem magically able to establish a powerful sense of trust and connection with even the most distrusting clients. But are there specific behaviors common to exceptionally gifted therapists that we can study, practice, and cultivate?

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What Makes Psychotherapy Possible

Today’s Video: Clarifying the Fundamental Task of Therapy

Rich Simon

Stephen makes it clear that hard scientific evidence now exists for what most therapists instinctively know: successful therapy depends utterly on establishing a safe, caring, mutually trustworthy, stable relationship with a client.

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How to Make Clients Feel Safe

Today's Video: Bringing Polyvagal Theory into Your Practice

Rich Simon

How can therapists acquire neuroscientific knowledge without becoming brain scientists themselves? Even more pressing, what real-life practical therapeutic implications, if any, can truly be drawn from neuroscience?

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Understand Brain Science Without Being a Neuroscientist

Interviews with Norman Doidge and Stephen Porges

Mary Sykes Wylie

How can therapists acquire the knowledge of how the brain works without becoming brain scientists themselves? Even more pressing, what real-life practical therapeutic implications, if any, can truly be drawn from neuroscience?

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Social Conditioning, Or Are We Just Born That Way?

The Neuroscience Behind Primary Gender Traits

Rich Simon

It wasn’t so long ago—maybe 10-15 years—that the field of psychotherapy believed that the fundamental differences between men and women were primarily a result of social conditioning.

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The Polyvagal Circuit in the Consulting Room

An Interview with Stephen Porges

Ryan Howes

As we all learned in school, we have two options in the face of perceived danger: fight or flight. But that was before neuroscientist Stephen Porges undertook his research into the relationship between human physiology and social engagement.

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Rethinking the Autonomic Nervous System

Stephen Porges on a Popular Neuroscientific Misconception

Rich Simon

For decades therapists have been taught that there are two sides of the autonomic nervous system complementing each other. But according to Stephen Porges—developer of the Polyvagal Theory—this teaching is off the mark.

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